Sports Hypnosis

swimmersSports Hypnosis in the past has been focused mainly on visualisation. “See yourself doing well in your event etc etc”, but Sports Hypnosis has much more to offer…

My Sports Hypnosis development has been focused for a while on swimming. I am highly qualified in swimming coaching and teaching and have thoroughly enjoyed integrating this knowledge with my Hypnosis and NLP skills. My thanks go to Louise Robinson for inviting me into her club of extremely talented swimmers and working with them to develop focus, pain control and other techniques tailored to the requirements of each individual athlete.

Sports Hypnosis in the past has been focused mainly on visualisation. “See yourself doing well in your event etc etc”, but Sports Hypnosis has much more to offer…

Many of the athletes I have worked with have asked for a method for working through pain. Although pain in the body is attributed to a warning mechanism that something is wrong; pain to the athlete is a by-product of over-working a muscle, or group of muscles. Working a muscle hard during exercise causes a build-up of lactic acid within the muscle(s). Rapid breathing is one way of breaking down this lactic acid, but the specific event that the athlete may be in, may not be suitable for rapid breathing. Taking the swimmer, rapid breathing may not be the answer to the Freestyle swimmer in a long event (for example). Sports Hypnosis can introduce techniques for athletes to work through their pain to the point where it will not interfere with their performance (even if this is a training session). With care the Sports Hypnotherapists can ensure that the pain control is limited to the athletic performance (either in training or competition), and that there is no detriment to the athlete in the ‘normal’ life.

Being first off the ‘block’ is another important factor within sports. The simple fact of leaving the blocks involves a sudden burst of activity within specific muscle group(s) at a set time. Sports Hypnosis can focus the mind (the unconscious mind) on the specific group(s) of muscles required to ensure that this occurs as fast as possible for the person involved. The same applies in swimming for coming out of turns; hitting the wall fast and using the stored kinesthetic energy that this creates plus some creative mind work and the swimmer can burst from the wall in trance faster than before.

A lot of athletes talk about being in the zone, or getting in the zone – but how do they do this? What is the zone?

A fully focused mind thinking only about the event ahead is certainly in the zone. But is this any different to being in a trance? I would argue not. The same mind concentration and focus is required in both. Some argue that Hypnosis is all about relaxing in a chair, in deep relaxation with music playing in the background. The athletes I have worked with have proved that this is a myth from the ill-informed. Together we have been doing hypnotic work on the poolside and whilst swimming; no music playing (in fact all the noise of a training session in progress), no chair to sink into (in fact standing wet on the poolside sliding into trance), just focused mind over matter performance. Perhaps this is exactly what the zone is – focused mental acuity for the task in hand, dismissing all distractions as merely events proving how focused you really are. I think we all could do with a dose of this in work and play!